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Tips for Communicating with People who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

A tip sheet for communicating with individuals who are deaf and hard-of-hearing.

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Posted by: mrputzer@uwm.edu on Wed Nov 11, 2015 at 8:49 p.m.

These are very great tips for anyone who works with or communicates with an individual who may have impaired hearing. I enjoyed reading these tips and they will be helpful to know, not only as a health care professional, but also as an individual exposed to the deaf community.

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It took me several years of struggling with the heavy door to my building, sometimes having to wait until a person stronger came along, to realize that the door was an accessibility problem, not only for me, but for others as well. And I did not notice, until one of my students pointed it out, that the lack of signs that could be read from a distance at my university forced people with mobility impairments to expend a lot of energy unnecessarily, searching for rooms and offices. Although I have encountered this difficulty myself on days when walking was exhausting to me, I interpreted it, automatically, as a problem arising from my illness (as I did with the door), rather than as a problem arising from the built environment having been created for too narrow a range of people and situations.

Susan Wendell, author of
The Rejected Body: Feminist Philosophical Reflections on Disability